Curry Diary 6/1/2013: Curry Variants

As I mentioned, the thing with Japanese Curry is everyone has their own recipe if they’re really into it.

Japanese curry has regional variants, home variants, company variants, and restaurant variants.  If Curry is important, someone has their own specific versions.

As for what people use?  I found a few patterns:

Changes and Substitutes to the Broth
Changing the Broth is not unusual among people trying to perfect curries.  I’ve seen:

  • Use of Beef or other meat broth (in fact this was the core broth for Japanese Navy Curry).
  • Use or partial use of wine.
  • Dashi broth or other classic Japanese broth.
  • Use or partial use of Apple Juice.
  • Using pureed fruit.
  • Using coconut milk or mashed coconut for sweetness and texture.
  • Cream

Additional Spices and Substances
These can go in the roux or in the broth.  I’ve seen:

  • Brandy
  • Cardamon
  • Chili powder
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Coca Powder
  • Coffee powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Garlic oil
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Mango and mango chutney
  • Maple syrup
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Star anise
  • Sugar
  • Turmeric

Other Items Cooked Into The Roux

  • Carmelized onion
  • Sautéed meat in the roux.

Changes in Cooking Time:

  • Cooking over days, cooling it and recooking it.
  • Cooking it in a slow cooker for several hours.
  • Very slow cooking period.

And that’s just what I could find by jumping around various recipes.  So if you’re looking for a checklist of things to try . . . well there you go.

Myself I’ve tried a few of these and can report:

  • Pureed Apple – Didn’t do anything for me at all.  Others swear by apples so maybe I should try something else.
  • Ginger – Found it way too sour.

As for others, hold on, because a few of those ingredients worked out for me . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at